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Drifting to the Edge of Nowhere

Setting

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Gaea Minor

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Gaea Minor is a part of Drifting to the Edge of Nowhere.

6 Characters Here

Crane Ichabod [18] A lone vagrant knight that endlessly search's for something he's lost. Shrouded in a feeling of both dread and sarrow, his existance is regarded in rumor as both fairy tale and ghost story.
Angelique Silver [18] "I'm the best at what I do! Don't forget it!" (WIP)
Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania [16] "I am very knowledgeable regarding the topics I speak of! I would not dare utter a word I thought false!"
Clavis [16] to create a new identity, he decided to leave his past~
Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania [12] If only one person could protect everyone...
Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra [3] Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretence of keeping it alive.

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Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania
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Knell


A light breezed stirred through the warm air that evening, offering a touch of relief to those caught out within it. The sun seemed to light the sky alight, the normally bashful blue seemed to be burning now . . . the sun looking like it was bleeding as it sank down into the horizon, vanishing from view as its sister moons began to follow the track of their day brother, ascending from the opposite side of the world. With the seemingly bleeding sun, and the sky that looked to be on fire, the surrounding scenery seemed to be bathed in the color of orange—everything looked as if it had been dyed the color to some degree.

Night was falling, and the world was beginning to follow suit. With the sun beginning to sink into bed, people were following its lead, heading for home, to prepare for the coming of darkness, as they always did. People walked passed, women, children, men, whole families. . . . Chattering away, smiling and laughing, speaking to their loved ones as they always did, living their mundane and normal lives, unaware of the happenings within the lives of the other around them. The world to them was what they saw, encountered, and did. Life revolved around the happenings they endured, and their families. It was as simple as that. . . .

So, of course they couldn’t have known anything about those they were walking past, save catching the tail end of a sentence, or a laugh. The only things they were the fragments of the conversations of others, tiny bits of detail that pertained to their lives, small things which would be forgotten soon enough anyway.

It was this sort of scene that a certain young mermaid found herself wandering about in. Whilst everyone around her knew where it was they were going, their destinations were at hand . . . she herself was but a mere drifter, her end unknown. All the people walking about were peaceful and content. The happy enough looks upon their faces could not have been more opposite of the one upon her features if effort was put forth. No, the expression playing itself out over her face was one of panic, worry, and fear. Her movements were frantic, uncertain and haphazard—she moved about, darting between people, around them, and doing her best to make advancement against the flow of the crowd in her hesitant progression. Where it was she was going, she had utterly no idea.

Where . . . was she?

’Tch, wonderful work Knell, I told you to watch yourself or else you’d go and get lost again.’ A flash of annoyance flittered across the girl’s face as she continued to try to make some progress against the crowd.

’Canaan, I so do not desire hearing a lecture at the moment. I know that I will be receiving one from Echo already, so you do not need to go and provide one.’

’No matter what she says to you, you still never listen. . . .’

A sigh escaping her throat, Knell moved in and out of people’s paths, doing her best to not cause anyone too much inconvenience as she tried to find her way. Canaan was in one of his moods today it seemed, whether the boy had a body of his own or not, he sometimes acted as if he’d woken up on the wrong side of the bed. ’Yes, yes, I know Canaan, I never listen, nor do I learn. I am but a simple glutton for punishment, because no matter what I am told, I still somehow manage to wind up doing the same things over and over again . . . need I go on brother?

Inside that teal-colored head of hers, Knell heard the boy scoff and laugh once at what she had responded with, he didn’t say anything else, but remained quiet. It seemed as if what Knell had gone and said did the trick, and got him off her back for the moment. Maybe now she could at least concentrate and make some attempt in finding her way back to the inn . . . or finding Echo in the crowd. If Canaan decided to keep himself quiet of course.

Oh yes . . . it depended upon what he felt like doing. Though he and Knell had shared the same body, the same physical anchor to the world for the whole of their lives, Knell still got irked with her brother as if they were sharing separate bodies. Inside of that head of hers, the two still had their funny little brother-sister spats as siblings did. Of course, that was something that would only ever be known to the two of them . . . and whomever, Knell deemed worthy of knowing her rather odd secret, and state of being. But then, how many people would she go around telling? And even if she did, how many people would even believe her? To most, hearing a girl say that she had the soul of another person trapped within her sounded like hogwash, mere insanity . . . then for her to go and say that it was the soul of her stillborn twin brother.

Yes . . . it sounded like utter lunacy, yet, by some weird happening, it was not. Something strange had occurred at the time of Knell’s birthing, when Canaan had failed to enter the world alive, and his soul had become bound to the world through her body. Neither he nor Knell understood why events had played out as they had, why it was they were made to live in her body. . . .

But those were things they would probably never know. Questions about their current state were ones that may never be answered, after all, it wasn’t as if brothers and sisters becoming bound together in the same piece of flesh was a common occurrence.

As she moved, the girl somehow managed to prevent tripping over her own two feet . . . until she made it to the edge of side of it all, her foot caught on the back of her other leg, and she went down, pulling many things down with her as she hit the ground outside of what appeared to be a tavern. A shriek came from her throat as it happened. She created quite a large commotion and causing several people to stop and stare at the sight and the girl who was to blame for it all.

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Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania
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#, as written by Wake
Dusk.

The time when light and dark trade places. Where beams of the bright sun cease to shine through the trees, exchanged for letting the glow of moonlight of the late evening sky filter through the leaves. When the giddy daylight hours end, replaced by the soothing tranquility of the nights cold winds.

And the eerie silence that sit on the edges of the dark.

Do many wonder what happens of that exchange of hats between the day and the night? Do they know of what changes happen with the forest at the edges of their homes, or what glides across the shadows under the moonlight, away from the prying eyes of the men and women who turned their backs on the life among the forest glades? There were whispers in the dark, of secrets, young and old, that few knew of. There were hidden beauties between the great oak trunks and dark beast skulking within the grass. There were songs of ice and snow written and told on every snow flake, and poetry scribed on every fallen leaf. The were alluring voices, calling for some to follow them into the dark, and stay with them... forever. Among them all, such dark brought with it it's greats treasure. One few knew off, and few truly accepted.

Memories, of times long ago. Times of dread and sorrow. The comfort of tears and solace of their gift in the comforting solitude of shadow.

He knew of this, all of this. The comfort of walking in such cold places, and the price one must sometimes pay to be in this dark. Alone with ones thoughts, such memories were all he had left. Empty. Hollow. He existed merely to wander now. To drift through this land of solitude, till he found what he had lost so long ago.

Until one cold night he heard a voice on the wind, familiar as it was cold. "Go to South, and to the East." It said. "There, at the edges of the forest where the lands of man meet the wilds, you shall find something of great importance. But be warned, as like the moth, you too can be burned by the allure of it's candle like glow."

_________

Where he walked, others would move to clear away from his path. A strange sight he was to many in this small town. What would a knight be doing so far down too the south, some would ask. Though they had plenty reason to clear from his path, such a heavily armed man did not seem like someone you'd want to impede, but non more then the feel of the unknown about him drove them away.

He was foreign, unknown, a stranger. He was someone that did not belong, and their for was neither welcome nor wanted, and his foreign persona made approaching him a task non wanted to endeavor. So he was avoided. He, and the horse following him, traveled through the town underrated by the thick throngs of the crowd. His purpose here a mystery, even to himself. Simply he walked, and let the people part before him as he did so.

Then a crash and a shriek made him, like many other, pause to locate it's source. A girl, hair oddly colored and, if her appearance was anything to go by, obviously not a local herself. Curiosity struck him as he stood there observing the girl. Something was... different about her. Aw, he saw it now, though he held his tongue about it. He thought to himself, pondering something from behind his metal plate mask, before he came to a decision.

He let go of the horses reigns, leaving the creature behind temporary. Again, the crowd parted before him as he strode silently forward. He stooped low next to the girl when he reached her. A hand out stretched, he spoke in a voice that sounded young for one of his size.

"Do you need help, miss?"

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Echo


Where did the princess wander off too? Echo wondered. She let out a sigh and shrugged with a slight smile. I guess I should go find her before she gets herself into trouble. It might be a little difficult to find Knell in this crowd, but soon night would fall and Echo needed to find her before then. If night fell, it would be dark and that much harder to find the princess. To add onto that, it was more dangerous to be out at night. Echo had to be there to protect Knell by the time the sun fully fell.

She and Knell had been through so much together. Even though Echo was nothing compared to her siblings, or anyone else in the world for that matter, Princess Knell befriended her. The trouble was… Their friendship has been rough. There were two factors that made the friendship difficult… The first was that the friendship between a commoner, let alone a servant’s daughter, and a noble was completely forbidden. If anyone were to find out about their friendship, they would never be able to see each other again. Echo would have been lucky not to be banished. However, their friendship stayed hidden. The second thing that made their friendship… Complicated was Knell’s brother. Since he shared Knell’s body, he could pop out unexpectedly. Luckily, it was easy to tell the difference between he and Knell… Plus, Canaan was a good person and he did Kneel some good. Still, it wasn’t something that would usually be factor when it came to relationships. On top of all that, the two had run away from Oceania. Life was so tough on land too… Echo preferred Oceania to the dry, awful land where she felt so heavy no matter what she did. Gravity… Was frightening. And on top of that, the dryness of the land made it possible for fires to occur… Land was a huge nightmare land. Echo agreed to come just to protect Knell and to continue their friendship. Protecting Knell was her obligation, as she had wanted to become a royal guard before she came to land.

Out of the corner of her eye, Echo saw Knell. She had fallen over and several people were staring at her… This is why Echo hated and feared gravity. It was a killer and torturer. And it also drew attention to Knell as she had fallen over. It was unfortunate that they couldn’t have stayed in water. Water felt so much more natural than land…

Echo made her way to Knell before seeing a man offering Knell his hand “Do you need help, miss?” He said to her. Echo was standing right beside Knell before taking a tumble herself. Gravity was not kind to mermaids… At least humans were used to gravity… But it was horrifying to deal with. Too bad they didn’t know how wonderful it was to float around for their entire lives. It was so much easier than walking around all day… Instead of fighting gravity to lifer her feet, she just let her tail flip back and forth to easily propel her forward. If only land was so easy… If only gravity didn’t fight her so…

Bringing herself to her feet, Echo brushed her dress off. She blushed with embarrassment and shifted her powder colored hair from the right side of her head to the left… It tumbled onto the floor as she stroked it nervously and shifted her eyes away from everyone around. It wouldn’t have surprised Echo if everyone were staring at her… But she hoped that no one had noticed her fall. If she were lucky they either were too distracted by Knell’s tumble to notice Echo’s or they were turned around and didn’t see or hear her hit the ground. One day gravity would be the end of her… Echo hoped it wouldn’t be too soon. She wasn’t ready to die just yet… After all, she still had to protect Knell and find a safe place for her to stay. Maybe they could even find a place to stay that would still be in the water! Echo hated the thought of having to stay on land! She shivered. But her top priority was to bring Knell to safety.

Concerned, Echo focused her gaze back to the princess. “Knell, where have you been?” Echo questioned her. “You shouldn’t run off like that! It’s dangerous.” A sigh escaped her lips after her small scolding. Then she brought her voice to a low whisper and leaned toward Knell so that no one else could hear “Plus, we don’t know anything about this place. You could have gotten seriously hurt.” Echo felt like an older sister or a mother saying this… And sometimes, she found herself saying similar things to Knell often.

Although Knell was truly an amazing person, she could be extremely irresponsible at times… This made Echo worry greatly about her. It would be so easily for Knell to get into trouble… Underwater, she was a princess, which made it important enough to protect her, but on land she was one of two mermaids wandering around together. If a human were to find out, there was no telling what could happen. Gravity took a tole on them both and to top it all off, they both had to avoid getting wet in front of anyone else. If they weren’t careful, there would be no telling what the consequences would be.

At least Echo found the princess before night fully eclipsed the sky. She could protect her until they found shelter for the night… When the time came, they’d have to figure out where to go next. They couldn’t stay anywhere for too long or someone might figure out what they were.. That wouldn’t do. Echo wouldn’t allow it. No one would ever know their secret and Echo would protect Knell, no matter what that meant. Knell was her only friend… The only one who ever care about her. It was also important to Echo to protect anyone who needed it. Of course, the princess took top priority, because she was the only person who cared about Echo. Hopefully, Echo would make more friends in the future.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
Shaking the bag of coins in one of his hands, Clavis started whistling. Still wearing his flamboyant costume and uniquely designed hat, he trudged his way along the crowd. He had just been in the center plaza, playing different songs. He was doing his usual routine of performing for the crowd when some people started tossing him coins and giving him money for his performance. It wasn't really his intention to ask for money in exchange for his music but if they had been offering to give him some, who was he to refuse?

The violet-haired man stared appreciatively at the sky above. The sun had already been setting and he can't be more than happier. Whistling a happy tune, he looked around him and smiled at the people passing by. He even dared to mock salute at some of them. He was grinning non-stop, genuinely happy with the nightfall while walking through the town. Seeing a corner before him, he tightened his hold on the string of the makeshift bag, where he kept his lute and other necessary things, still keeping on his lively gait, before turning around.

The sky was turning darker and as he looked around, he quietly studied his environment, stopping his whistling. He knew that far on the western side of the town there was a wide dense forest. He had heard different versions of stories from the young maidens that he talked beforehand. They told him that no one dares to enter it past suppertime. They had said that those who enter it are not seen coming back. Those people are never to be seen again. For what reason they actually don't know. Seeing their expressions, he was quite sure that the lovely young maidens were trying to intimidate him. Since he actually had have some invitations for a place to stay for the night and mostly declined them all. He charmingly told them that he's interested in seeing the said enigmatic and terrifying forest. Despite their warnings and mouthwatering options for him, he just smiled and winked goodbye. He had been unrelenting on his decision and because of that they only gave him a teary hug and loads of supplies before he left.

Staring at the sky one more time, he smiled again. His mind was already conjuring up new tunes for some songs that he will play on the forest that night. No one knew it, but he never sleeps during nightfall. He liked the ambiance of the evening. Despite his cheerful nature, there was something during the darkened skies that amazes him more than the clear bright mornings. If he would choose between the night and day, he will undoubtedly choose the former.

He was still in his own happy bliss when a sudden ruckus took his attention. In his peripheral vision, he saw a girl with teal-colored hair tripping over her own two feet. He thought, judging the girl's demeanor, that she would start crying inadvertently later on. He was surprised when she was then approached later on by tall armor wearing man. Obviously a knight, he stretched out an arm, aiming to help her stand up. Not long after though, another blue-haired girl who was taller than the one who tripped, approached them. Not without tumbling on the ground herself, she then proceeded to the other girl and promptly scolded her.

He gazed thoughtfully at the fallen girl, there was something interesting about her. With his own curious nature overcoming his drive to make way into the forest, he decided to approach them. He first stopped by on one corner and lightly set down the tightly wrapped bundle and the pack where his lute was. Untying the knot, he took out the lute and promptly placed his pack and the bundle on his back. Plucking the strings of the lute, he then proceeded to play out on one of lively music that he knew. Entertainer, it is one of his masterpieces. Surely a song like this will be the perfect song to play in this scenario. He shut his eyes off for a moment as if trying to feel the song and opened them looking directly at the first girl who tripped and caused a commotion. Smiling encouragingly, he gestured to the outstretched hand of the knight and continued playing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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She found herself swallowed up by an old covering of some sort, an assortment of scraps having tumbled to the ground with her as she had reach out in some effort to keep her body from giving way to gravity’s evil clutches. A couple of weeks on land, and with legs, and she still was not at all used to the whole process of walking. . . . It seemed almost barbaric to her, people have to move themselves forward with such an amount of effort—being bound to one surface without the assistance of stairs or a ladder. In the water, one could just move their tail, and they could go up or down, or anyway they so chose, moving was so much easier in the oceans. . . . Having to get around on legs, well, that was a chore, and it took such an amount of time and energy that it was very easy to become drained and exhausted.

Her body wasn’t made for such wear! After all, she was a princess—working to build up stamina and energy was not exactly something that she had been made to do, or been made to work on.

Gravity was such a burden. And a cruel thing too, how it seemed to relish causing her embarrassment and pain. . . . Of course, she would just have to go and be separated from Echo, and then manage to tumble over herself right after getting out of the paths of everyone whom was finishing their daily rounds and chores. . . . And to top it all off, she would also cause a plethora of things to come falling down with her. As if her situation weren’t bad enough, Fate seemed to love just toying about with her, didn’t it? First, assassins try to kill her before her sixteenth birthday, she kept getting lost, and now she was just falling left and right. Why oh why, could she not just be given a brief reprieve?

’Would you stop trying to blame things that don’t exist for all the bad stuff that keeps happening to you?’ Canaan started up as Knell herself began to move herself up, propping her upper half upon her forearms in order to get her face off the cold, stone pavement, an involuntary groan slipping from the girl’s lips as she did so.

’Oh hush up would you? You’re not the one who keeps falling over her own two feet, getting herself lost, and who almost got slain by unknown people.’ the girl retorted, hearing her brother laugh in response.

Knell simply sighed, choosing not to respond to him as he kept himself quiet again, thinking of who knew what in his half of her head. She didn’t really enjoy that—the fact that she and her brother shared her body, that he always knew what she was thinking, but she could never know what he was thinking. . . . Now, that was just not fair. Canaan was free to taunt and tease her all he wanted, but she couldn’t ever get any dirt on him. Not that it really mattered anyway, the boy often was never in control of her body, and the only times that happened, she herself went off into a deep, dreamless sleep from which she couldn’t ever remember anything he had done under her name. But it wasn’t as if her brother were a bad person, no, he was just a mere jokester, as he had been their whole life.

With but a quiet sigh, Knell moved one of her arms back, clutched onto the worn and old covering which still lay atop her legs, and she threw it back, and off her. Even if there was no one to blame but herself for this irksome clumsiness, Knell still found herself irritated by it all. It happened too much, and the fact that it was still happening was enough to really get at her better senses. . . . . sure, even if Echo herself took a few tumbles, the girl was so graceful looking, her movements so fluid, so lithe. Knell however; her movements were nothing short of grating, awkward and clunky. Her human legs did nothing for her—she was so very short compared to the majority of people, and Echo, Echo was so tall, she was gorgeous, standing elevated and strong.

It took a lot for Knell to feign a veil of strength herself, to appear as if she were haughty. She was raised with pride, to be proud of her heritage, her bloodline, and even if she did feel as if her mermaid lineage were superior to that of humans and all land dwellers . . . her as a person was not so much. Compared to those around her, and to Echo, Knell felt as if she were nothing special, like she did not belong. And it was that façade of hers that kept Echo from knowing—Knell didn’t want her friend to worry more than she already did. As a clueless, curious and accident-prone princess in hiding, there was enough her friend had to be concerned with.

’C’mon and get to your feet now Knell, even if walking is a chore for you, you still need to get up and to find Echo before it gets too late—you two should get back to the Inn . . . and to the Mercenary before dark.’ Canaan’s voice at the mentioning of the hired help Knell had sought out the previous day was undeniably hesitant.

’The Mercenary? Oh, I had forgotten of him.’ Knell thought, a light look of surprise happening across her face, tinted orange by the setting sun. The day before . . . Knell had taken it upon herself to hire an escort for herself and Echo, a rather obscure fellow with a reputation, one of strength, and success in his duties. From all Knell had heard, he seemed fit to be one whom would guard and protect the life of two mermaids, even if one was a princess by birth. And so, even with her brother not entirely for it, and without informing Echo until the deed was carried out, Knell had gone and paid the man upfront, a rather large sum of money by any standards for his protection, and to keep him from inquiring more information about her situation.

Knell had simply told the man that she and her friend required an escort who could provide protection as they travelled. . . .

Nothing more, nothing less. And it seemed to have been enough. However, as soon as the lot of them had arrived into town, Knell had set off on her own, Echo in tow, to explore. Even if she felt that the life of land dwellers was slightly barbaric compared to that of Merfolk, the happenings of simple day-to-day life interested Knell, she had never been allowed to see it in her own kingdom. In that time though, the teal-haired girl had managed to go and get sidetracked while her dear friend had continued onward without her, causing their separation.

’Yes . . . I should be on my way to track Echo down, and to return to him.’ she thought, turning her head to the side slightly, as she remained on the ground. Those befittingly aqua colored eyes of her happened out to the side, to look at those who stared at the sight that was her, the girl’s face flushed a light rouge when she realized how much of a crowd had gathered to stare at her. And, just as Knell was about to get herself to her feet in her embarrassment, she stopped moving as she noted the reactions in the crowd, stunned expressions, and looks of fear—them parting to the sides. Loud footsteps, the clanking of metal accompanying that. . . . They were heavy footfalls, intimidating, and as the crowd thinned from his pathway, Knell was able to finally see what was stunning the humans so, and boy, was it ever a sight she’d not go and soon forget.

A rather looming figure approached, completely held in a dark suit of armor, he carried an air to him, one that bespoke of some sort of . . . uncertainty, a form that struck a feeling of anxiety into the heart. Seeing this . . . blackened knight approach her Knell’s suddenly rather small form tensed up, muscles tight as if ready to spring up, and flee. Though he was silent, Knell could feel the vestiges of control in her body being surrendered to Canaan as he were ready to usurp it from her and to get them both away. He was frightening—and why was he coming for her? When he stopped before her, and suddenly stooped down with his hand extended out to her, Knell moved back just a touch before he spoke.

”Do you need help, miss?” the voiced echoed forth from the covered face, youthful and seemingly too young for his size. The gap between his appearance and the sound of the voice coming from inside startled Knell, and Canaan. The grasp that terror had upon her, the wonderment of him appearing before her faded, as she could only question that rift.
The young mermaid hesitated, and did not take the man’s hand before a rather familiar figure happened to . . . drop down next to her before suddenly springing back to her feet. The long hair, a soft, almost not color—it was Echo! Knell, once more startled, looked up at her friend with her eyes wide. Well, that solved one matter. . . . ’She’s going to lecture me, I just know it.’

As if right on cue, and after a slightly self conscious moment, Echo turned and looked down at her, expression stern. “Knell, where have you been?” The girl’s tone caused Knell to flinch, “You shouldn’t run off like that! It’s dangerous.” Echo chided her. At that moment, the two girls could seem more as a mother-daughter duo than friends. Knell, frowned as her face went red, being reprimanded in front of so many people. . . . “Plus, we don’t know anything about this place. You could have gotten seriously hurt.” Echo had leaned down low, speaking in a voice soft enough for only her to hear, the terseness was released from Echo’s vocalization at that, leaving only an edge of concern, and true worry.

’See, now you’ve gone and made the poor girl worry about you—I told you to be more careful.’

Knell choose to not respond to Canaan’s annoying ‘I told you so’ moment, if she did, he’d only go on and on. . . . Being chided by Echo was enough for her.

Before she could even respond though, yet another event transpired that kept the young mermaid silent for a moment—the sound of a lulling lute being strummed hit Knell’s ears, causing her to turn her gaze toward its source. A rather handsome young man was there, playing a piece of music that nearly brought out the natural musical senses Knell had as a mermaid, it made her want to sing. When he looked at her, and smiled, Knell drew her gaze away in embarrassment . . . and promptly reminded herself that such things were not what she needed to be concerned about right now. He was a stranger with a pretty face—a human, a commoner, she was a mermaid, a princess. He was not worthy of her. . . .

The bard gestured to the knight and the hand he held out for her to take, ’Oh, just take the man’s help would you? Even if you find the lute player good looking, it isn’t like he’s going to get anywhere with you. It can’t hurt just going along with things for a bit Knell.’ Knell heard Canaan lazily say to her, sounding almost annoyed.

Knell went and flickered her eyes back over to Echo before she turned her gaze back to the rather daunting knight before her, and pondered for a moment, feeling as if accepting his help was . . . below her. The idea of taking assistance from a land dweller was really something that Knell didn’t like the thought of, but, still. ’I don’t know Canaan. . . .’

’Just go along with things, or else I’ll do it.’

A look of displeasure spread across Knell’s face at her brother’s threat, and she breathed out harshly before she hesitantly moved a hand from the ground, and set it in the one offered to her. Quietly she adjusted position, getting to her knees. After this passed . . . she and Echo needed to return to the Mercenary.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
The knight gave only brief look toward the second girl as she fell next to the first. Similar to the first, she had features that were out of place among the locals. That and her sense of balance seemed no better. Her entrance and sudden chiding of the first girl would have seemed comical to the viewer.

But he retracted his attention away from the interruption, waiting for the first girl, Knell from what he briefly heard the others chattering, to respond. She made a brief look of displeasure, whether it was at him, her acquaintance, or the irritating bard that had snuck up behind him he couldn't tell. But she accepted his hand any way and he steadly pulled her to her feet.

Once she was standing again he made a quick look behind him to the crowd that had gathered. A brief cold wind blew through the street. The people quickly began to go back to their original business, some shivering briefly from an unusual coldness that touched them when the wind blew.

"The two of you are not from around here, I take it." He said, returning his attention to the girl. "If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler."

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania
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A long straight trail of red firery hair behide her. It was flickering in the soft wind behide her as she tried to manage her way through the packed crowd. Angel had been walking day after day, and she grew tiresome due to lack of sleep. How could people ever think to manage walking so much? Then again, she was the one who had no where to return to. No where to call home. Her clan's outfit did end up getting the attention of many people in the crowd, not that she cared at the moment.

It was all a simple game in Angel's mind. You have to dress to impress and make people believe you were good at what you do. And that's what Angel was aiming for. Angel knew she was bad a being a ninja, being apart of her clan, and mainly being a leader. She couldn't help it though. She was a half-demon. Half a klutz, half a beautiful graceful girl. Both picked at her to no end, no matter what. Oh how she longed to be able to be accepted into her clan and prove all of them wrong. That she wasn't 'Mistaken Child' and something so much better.

A frown plastered on her face as she looked to the side of the crowed, noticing a gathering of people surronding an oddly hair colored girl. 'Blue? Almost like the ocean!' Angel thought quietly to herself, though she turned her gaze to the front as she countined to move until she ended up tripping and falling on her face hard enough for a normal person to cry. All she did was cuss under her breath as she tried to get up and looked over to the ocean haired madien. "Ya know, your hairs pretty cool." Angel commented with a smile kindly and a tilt of her head. Not much did she care about what everyone else was doing.

She simply did want to comment on the girl's hair and how it looked pretty. It reminded her so much of the ocean. The ocean she missed and adored so deeply. Her clan had lived close by it, so she normally walked there when needing to clear out her head. Now, she couldn't return there again until she became a better ninja. They all knew she couldn't do it, so they did they want to push her so hard to do it? It was an impossible thing to do for such an idiot creature like her.

A creature of both, human and demon. A creature that was considered 'imperfect' to her own clan. Her own family... She truely didn't wish to think about it as she unknowingly had tears running down her face as her eyes broke away from the ocean blue hair. No longer could she look at it without crying. How much of a fool could she be? Crying in public where all eyes were to watch, it was simply shameful. How could she have done such a regretful thing as to let that first tear fall, for now none of them could stop.

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania
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#, as written by Wake
If he had visible eyebrows, he would have quirked them. Yet another girl had fallen down next to the growing group. Though this one seemed much different from the others, though like them she also seemed not from this region. She said something to Knell that he didn't catch, then started to cry for some strange reason he could not discern. While he could not find the reason behind her tears he felt he could at least offer her some aid as he'd done before.

"Is there a little faerie playing pranks nearby? For all the tripping doesn't seem normal." He mussed. "Is something wrong miss?" He asked as he drooped down to offer his hand to the red hair girl as he did earlier to the blue haired one. Though, even as he knelt down next to her he started to notice something... off about her. Familiar, but different.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
Once he ended his performance with the music trailing until it faded into nothing, the violet-haired bard waited a few moments for some of the applause to gradually die down before he walked towards where the beautiful tumbling ladies are.

Tumbling ladies- that is what he nicknamed for them, seeing them falling one after another as if they were not used with the pull of gravity. Such wonderful looking tumbling ladies they are though. For Clavis who had seen a lot the world has to offer, the way they looked are truly ephemeral and new. Aside from their beautiful faces there is something in their aura that charms and lures people around. Even someone like him who met a lot of girls can see how different they looked from an ordinary human-town girl.

After hastening his movements and keeping his lute back on his pack since he had every intention of talking to them before they leave. He did saw the teal-haired girl looking somewhat displeased for a moment before she had accepted the knight's help. They looked as if they were in a hurry and he suppose that they needed to return home.

Night had fallen after all and for human towns like this, people try to retire as early as they can.

He moved towards them and removed his now yellow-colored feathered hat from its position on his head. Today his hat is yellow almost golden in color adorned with a big black feather on one side. Seeing that he never had the same hat for more than a day, it would not be unusual for him to sport a different one from yesterday. He actually didn't know how to sew but if he can't come across a shop into the town to have something that can replace it, he'd make it a point to modify his own hat if he must. There is something in variety that makes him want to change this particular attire daily.

"If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler." He heard the knight ask upon reaching them and impulsively decided to cut in. He charmingly bowed low as what is customary for a gentleman and smiled pleasantly.

"Good evening", he started noting the darkened color of the sky beforehand. With a wide smile plastered in his face he added, "sir knight and lovely ladies." At the end of his sentence he gestured to the girls and bowed again. He approached the first one who tripped and took her hand, softly kissing the air above it. "I hope you are well, did your fall hurt you?" The violet-haired man inquired her, gently dropping her hand and looking at her with eyes full of concern.

When his eyes turned to the taller girl beside, he also reached for her hand and repeated his actions before, "You too, sweet lady, I hope that the fall didn't hurt you." Addressing them both he then added in a loud inquiring voice and his eyes twinkling, "What are your name, my fair ladies? Sir knight here is correct when he said that you mustn't walk without escort during this time of the night!"

Suddenly a new tall girl arrived, tripping like the first ones did and lightly commented on the shorter girl's hair. He stared at her and noticed her long red hair tied in a pony tail and bright orange eyes. Noting her beautiful face which undeniably has a different light from the two girls, but still a lovely sight to see. The knight once again offered his hand for her to take. Clavis bowed one more time tucking his hat in front of his chest. "Good evening too, mademoiselle. This is-" He stopped himself at what he was about to say when he shockingly saw the first batch of tears fall from her face. Panicked, he swiftly worn his hat over his head and raised both of his hands in alarm, "My lady?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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Angel's orange eyes darted all around her, why was she being stared at? Was it because of her sandles that were killing her? Or was it because of her tripping over her own two feets? She had been walking for days without rest and she had grown tired and close from fainting. "A-Ah... Thank you..." Angel mumbled, standing up with the help of the strange knight. She then ended up slightly panicked at the strange bard who was possibly going to flirt with her.

"Sorry. I'm just a bit home sick." Angel aplogized, then shifting her attention to the knight. "Her hair reminds me of the ocean, where I once lived..." Angel explained little, but it was still enough for them to understand. "I'm Angelique Silver, part of the Silver clan far from this region." Angel stated, giving a slight bow as she introduced herself. "But anyhow, I do think the faerie are also at work. I've tripped far to many times these past few days. Yesterday I got up to about 20 falls. Not the brightest of days." Angel confessed, pride still managing to glow in her eyes. Her clan's tattoo showing on her thigh, "I was hopeing today would be better, though it seems it won't be much different..."

Angel twisted around, worried eyes on the way she came from. She had upset a few people back in the last town, but would they dare continue chasing her? Her hair was slowly twisting out of it's holder, coming undone quickly as she turned back to the knight an the bard. "Thank you both for your concern, I should be taking my leave at this point. I have a lot of things I need to do before tomorrow's dawn." Angel explained, giveing another small bow in gradatude and jogging away with a small wave.

Of course though, the people from the town over came into view and followed Angel slightly, giving a slight glare at those behide them, mainly the knight though. Angel escaped into a local store, hiding only to change into a black haired maiden, her demon form. Being a half-demon, turning into a demon was considerably a major perk. Walking out of the shop, she looked around to see the people who followed her were confused and cussing like sailors. That could only make the raven haired girl laugh, enjoying the sight of the confused trouble makers. They glared at her like expected but she didn't care, they had no idea it was her.

"She's inside boys." Angel simply stated with a shrug, relizeling her hair was out of it's pony tail. Of course, she had to jog back to the knight, bard, and two other girls and reach down and pick up the band that kept her hair in it's pony tail. "I'll give this back to Angel." Angel said, a smile tugging on her lips. She wanted to see if she could confessed them with her demon form, to see how they'd react. "Those people have been chasing us for days, hopeflly we could lose them today." Angel mumbled to herself, loud enough for those near by to hear.

"Would someone kindly show me to the Inn?" Angel asked politely, tucking a strand of her black hair behide her ear with a tugging smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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As Knell had been assisted back to her feet, she made quick work to go about brushing her front off of any dirt that may’ve gone and gathered upon it from the cold ground, a faint blush was still upon her features. The bard had gone and gotten her flustered with that smile of his, and the fact that she had to accept help from a land dweller due to one of Canaan’s threat did not make for a very happy mermaid princess. First, she was embarrassed and secondly she was reduced to having to take aid from another—neither of which Knell was fond of. Inside her head, Knell could hear her brother snickering away at her predicament and jumbled thoughts regarding the matters.

A shiver travelled up the mermaid’s spine as a strange sort of breeze blustered on through the town, though she did not allow her discomfort to show . . . weakness was not something she needed to display. Even if it were to remain a secret to all, she was a mermaid, and Merfolk were suppose to be strong, intelligent and above the land dwellers. They were not suppose to suffer embarrassment, nor be reduced to the state she was in now.

"The two of you are not from around here, I take it." Knell allowed her aqua colored eyes to flicker up as the rather menacing knight began to speak. He was referring to herself, and to Echo . . . yes, it was rather apparent by looking at their hair coloring that they were not of local origins. "If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler." The voice from the man echoed from the metal helmet, giving it an oddly hollow effect. In a way, it was an unnerving feature that didn’t sit very well with Knell. Regarding his question, Knell felt it wasn’t his business to know. Even if he was chivalrous enough to assist her in getting back to her feet, the knight was still a stranger, and the matter regarding her and Echo travelling was their business.

Though Knell herself truly did not enjoy wandering about on land like this, always falling and tripping, gravity giving her Hell, having to worry in the back of her mind about those who tried to assassinate her weeks before. . . . Even if she wanted to go back into the water in order to hide—the business she and Echo were attending to was theirs and only theirs. ’Would you stop it with the arrogant thought pattern Knell? Here, you’re not a princess; all you are is a simple person, a commoner.’

’Canaan, I can’t let myself seem weak to Echo, she has enough to be concerned with right now, doesn’t she?’

’Oh, and acting like you’re a priss helps you look strong of heart?’

Knell sighed to herself at Canaan’s comment. Well, it wasn’t like her brother was wrong about that . . . but still, how she choose to act was her choice, wasn’t it? Knell’s own mindless task was interrupted when one of her hands was suddenly snatched up and away from brushing off her skirt. At the sudden gesture, Knell wrenched her eyes up and looked at the one who had dared to be so forward as to grab her hand. It was the bard again, the fact the man was now holding onto her hand caused the teal haired girl’s face to go redder, blending in well with the orange tint cast upon the world by the bleeding sun. The crowd of people who had stopped to witness her little fall were scattering further and further apart as the violet-haired man seemed to kiss the air above her hand before he allowed it to return to its owner.

His eyes were laced with concern, "I hope you are well, did your fall hurt you?" he inquired.

Knell pulled her hand up from her own side, the one the bard had air kissed, and gently held it to her chest as she drew her gaze to the side, and away from him and the knight. ’Geez, he’s really getting to you isn’t he Knell?’
You tell me Canaan, you are inside of my skull and are aware of every little thing about me—physical, emotional or mental, so you already know.’ Knell replied to her brother, a rather bashful expression upon her young face.
’Want me to take care of the problem for you sis?’ he offered, a rather anxious tone in his voice.

To this Knell gave a small shake of her head, no, even if this strange bard was making her flustered, she didn’t want Canaan to step in and drive him off. She didn’t need to go and do that, it would only rouse questions about her, and then she and Echo would have to leave the town that much sooner. In addition, she had to think about the fact that she had hired the Mercenary—even if she had paid him enough to not ask questions, she didn’t want him to also begin questioning her. The last thing needed right now, was for Knell and Echo to draw too much attention to themselves.
Her thoughts jumbled at the moment, Knell was detached from the world until she heard, "Ya know, your hairs pretty cool."

The sudden compliment startled the mermaid back into reality due to how close the person saying it was to her. The voice was female, and fairly soft, it was kind. A slight gasp working from her lungs, Knell clutched onto her hand tighter and instinctively took a step back. There was a new face here, a girl who was not much shorter than Echo was—but looked entirely different, long red hair with eyes to match. Face flushed with embarrassment still, Knell turned her aqua gaze to her best friend, to Echo, and edged toward the girl. First the knight, then the bard and now . . . a rail of a girl who wore rather revealing clothing.

’Canaan, have I gone and turned into some sort of magnet for the weird. . . ?‘

’You’ve always been sort of a magnet Knell, I just didn’t know you’d be causing these sorts of characters to gravitate toward you.’

Knell blinked and observed the actions and listened to the words exchanged by the three people who had spontaneously interacted with her out of the blue. The knight mused over whether fae were at work for causing all three of the girls to trip as they had, the redheaded girl began to cry as the bard began to attempt a line upon her before being startled by the tears she shed.

The girl responded to the words before thanking the bard for his concern, and heading off, Knell watched the odd girl go, never quite having seen someone such as her before. Knell blinked, and remained clasping onto the hand the bard had taken hold of before as the tint in her cheeks began to fade. The mermaid opened her lips as a breeze stirred up again, and blew through her long hair, “I am not sure . . . but I do believe I remember reading about people like her in the past, her style of clothing—I believe the terms used to refer to them were shinobi and more commonly, ‘ninja.’”

’And that information is helpful to you how now?’

A sigh happening from her lips at Canaan’s words, Knell turned her gaze back to the bard and to the knight, before she allowed her hands to return to her sides. She stared at the two men with a passive expression upon her features as she mused over what it was she ought to do now—her physical state had been inquired about, as well as why it was she and Echo were upon their own. Canaan had more or less told her not to act like a priss with them, it didn’t make her seem strong. . . . Just arrogant. The knight had aided her, and the bard had been courteous. In response to this, Knell delicately clutched at her skirt with her fingers, and lifted it up slightly as she gave the two men a polite curtsy—a custom she had read about before leaving home. It was proper manners for a girl to give such a gesture when showing respect or otherwise.

She bowed her head slightly down, and quickly returned to her normal stance before clutching her hands at her front. “I wish to thank the both of you for the kindness shown to myself and my friend, it’s not often you find such politeness in others, especially when those others are strangers. My name is Knell-Li . . . Blackburn, and my dear friend here,” Knell paused to gesture to Echo with one of her hands, “is Echo Thrussell.”

’Careful there Knell, you about slipped and gave your real name. Wouldn’t want to go and spoil your secret so soon, would you?’ Canaan chided her.

“The two of us are indeed travellers, but our reasons for doing so are simply that we wish to see the world. And we are not alone, we have hired ourselves an escort to guide and protect us.” She added on, lying through her teeth about the first bit.

It was at this time a strange girl with ink black hair appeared before them all, stooping over to pick something off the ground. There was something familiar about her. . . . "I'll give this back to Angel." she said, smiling. Knell stared at her while Canaan stirred, indicating that something was off about her. Though her lips moved again, the teal-haired mermaid was unable to perceive what it was she had said before she raised her voice up again to ask a question, "Would someone kindly show me to the Inn?"

Well now, Knell and Echo needed to return to the Inn anyway, the Mercenary. ’Mm, perfect timing, eh Knell? This gives you a palpable excuse to get away from these men.’

’So it does, but you felt something was off about her, didn’t you? Should I even volunteer if you. . . ?’

’She seems strangely familiar is all; I don’t think it’s much to be concerned with.’

With Canaan’s confirmation, Knell gave the stranger a smile, and nodded her head before stepping out into the now cleared out streets, and looking back to the girl. “If I may be so bold, I can accompany you to the Inn, my friend and I need to return there anyway.” Again, Knell gave a curtsy to the men from before, “Again, thank you two for your kindness, but Echo and myself need to be on our way. We shall be in town for the next two days or so, if you feel compelled, you may look us up at the Inn.” With that, Knell turned on her heel and began a steady walk to the Inn—truthfully, the building was not that far away so the walk only took a minute or two reach before Knell idly headed inside, heading back to greet the Mercenary of her return.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
The violet-haired man almost let out a triumphant smirk when he saw the teal-haired girl getting flustered once after he 'kissed' her hand. He instead settled for an indulging smile, his eyes twinkling merrily towards her. She looks lovely getting flustered, Clavis thought his smile widening, noticing her bashful expression.

When he was standing far away before, playing his lute out of the blue in order to divert the crowd's attention to him instead of hers and the other tumbling girl, he wasn't able to fully appreciate her beauty. He knew that she looked beautiful and ephemeral from afar but now that he stood in front of her face to face, he can testify that her beauty is not of this world. She is truly breathtaking. There is certain innocence but unbidden pride shining from her eyes and very soul. Someone like Clavis, who lives to appreciate the charms of women species can greatly deduce that she's not a girl of normal status.

He then heard her gratefully thanking him and the knight, awhile after. He can't help but rub his hand into the back of his neck, feeling the uncharacteristic shyness settle into his being. "It is nothing," he replied smiling widely and that was when the red-haired girl entered and tripped in front of them. He had really lost his composure and was thoroughly thankful when the knight had more sense than he did to help up the fallen girl. After crying out loud in public and stating her name he noticed odd things from the red-haired girl. Her eyes notably darted to her surroundings first before it met with his directly and the next thing he knew was her looking panicked. For what, he had no clue.

Clavis almost bowed himself when he saw her bowing after she introduced herself. He was about to speak up and introduce in return when she twisted around seemingly searching for something around the crowd. She bowed in gratitude to them once again before walking away and immediately leaving them.

Not long after her disappearance though, a black-haired girl appeared, getting a hair tie from the ground and stated with a smile tugging in her lips, "I'll give this back to Angel." He observed this one quietly, roving his eyes all over her not in a lecherous manner but one who is wholly focusing attention. From her notable features, undoubtedly another one of those beautiful inhumane faces as what he could see-she's clearly not of pure human descent, to her unusual eyes, she looked eerily familiar.

He stared at her coyly. Looking at her directly, eye to eye and he then neared 'Angel's companion'. Raising a hand to her hair, looking like he was reaching to touch it but instead settling for tracing the shape of her long straight hair freely 'flowing' with the evening air.

"Black looks lovelier on you my lady."

He spoke out loud, a flirtatious smile pasted in his face.

Before the girls left, he bowed low, taking off his hat and tucking it in front of his chest. Knell as what he had heard her refer to herself not moments ago, informed the other girl about accompanying her for the directions of the inn.

"It is certainly a pleasure meeting you mademoiselles. I am Clavis by the way, a simple travelling bard." He cast the three of them coy smiles, placing his hat promptly back on the top of his head.

"And my lady, I might take you on that offer. I want to see you soon," He added looking straight at the teal-haired enigmatic girl. Clavis ended his speech with another bow before he went to the opposite direction, back to his original destination. When he passed by the knight, he gave him an acknowledging nod and waved farewell, "Goodbye, Sir Knight".

--
As he was walking towards the edge of the town, he contemplated the earlier scenario. There is something with Knell Blackburn that lures Clavis to her. He had been quite surprising himself with his impulsiveness to learn more about her. Certainly, it was normal for him to become interested to every girl that he meets; it is one of his life's greatest goals after all! To talk to all the beautiful women of Gaea Minor, be it of human species or not, but still he's not this intrigued. Recalling her shyness yet contradictory pride, he wondered who she really was. She seemed someone of nobility but he can't be sure since she didn't seem to be part of the royal lineage for the ones next in throne.

It was during moments like this that Clavis liked to have the ability to remove the cursed earring from his ears and listen to all the thoughts of every living thing around him. While it may cause him a major headache, sorting out every thoughts he comes across, it will still favorably help him to learn more about the mysterious personality of Knell, the tumbling teal-haired girl with eyes the astounding color of blue oceans.

When he reached the darkened forest, with the moon now totally taking control of the night sky, Clavis settled into the innermost part and settled on the very first tree stump that he came across. He slowly and carefully dropped all his baggage, leaning everything into a tall tree nearby. He opened his makeshift pack, something made out of cloth one that a gypsy gave to him on the last town that he visited and took out his lute. He strummed it once, letting the music trail off in the quiet forest.

Playing Entertainer once again, he let the music envelop the whole area just strumming the lute to his heart's content.

He had already finished playing two pieces when he found himself staring contemplatively at nothing in particular. Knell-li, he recalled her stating, stopping herself abruptly in the middle of her speech as if hiding something else. He didn't know how he thought of it, but there is something in her that makes Clavis think that she had not been fully truthful with them.

He gently laid his lute aside and searched his pockets for the familiar coin bag. It wasn't in his expectation to earn money through his music but performing in front of an open crowd seemed to be the easiest way to earn these coins. Shaking it once, twice and thrice as if deciding it's value by hearing the sound, Clavis felt his lips curving into a smile.

I think it's time I take you up on that offer, Margaret. He recalled the brunette girl, with her pouty lips and fluttering eyes. She was one of those girls who had readily offered him beforehand, a room in their inn. He did decline before since he didn't see the use of getting a room and not sleeping in it. But once he recalled the place where Knell and her companions disappeared, he finally decided.

He might have to postpone his nightly playing, he figured not regretting it one bit but still feeling some disappointment in it. He had made it a point to play during the night time. Ever since he started his journey for life, not once did he fail to play the whole night away being accompanied with his lute and masterpieces. This would be the first time in months that he will, apparently.

Standing up from the ground and brushing the dirt and leaves off his pants, he gathered his things and trudged the path to the direction of the inn. They may be asleep at this time around, but Clavis figured what else a better way to learn more about Knell than be near her and her companion? A planned meeting may just help him know about her more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
The knight refrained from commenting when the 'ninja' left and returned with a different hair color. The change was what cemented his suspicions as too what she was. The Bard apparently figured it out as well, but apparently didn't have the same sense to hold his tongue about the issue.

Though the both of them were curious, they were not his original focus. He kept his attention on the blue haired girl as she spoke.

“I wish to thank the both of you for the kindness shown to myself and my friend, it’s not often you find such politeness in others, especially when those others are strangers. My name is Knell-Li . . . Blackburn, and my dear friend here, is Echo Thrussell.” She said with a brief curtsy. The action caused the knight shifted slightly as she spoke, but said nothing. “The two of us are indeed travelers, but our reasons for doing so are simply that we wish to see the world. And we are not alone, we have hired ourselves an escort to guide and protect us.” There was another minor twitch of his finger, but again he held his tongue. When the ninja spoke, asking about the location of the inn, Knell offered to show her the way.

“Again, thank you two for your kindness, but Echo and myself need to be on our way. We shall be in town for the next two days or so, if you feel compelled, you may look us up at the Inn.” She said before turning to leave. The knight merely gave a short bow to her as she went. He mostly ignored the bard until the violet haired man addressed him directly.

"Goodbye, Sir Knight". The knight glanced briefly at the bard like he was just acknowledging his existence, only to dismiss him again when said bard left before he could respond.

The knight walked away from the spot without another word. Though his mind was already working. The girl, Knell, wasn't very good at lying. There were certain mannerisms she had that didn't sit with that of an ordinary traveler. That, and both her... presence and the number of "Unique" individuals that had suddenly been drawn to her suggested a something drawing this meeting to happen.

A brief glance behind him and he could the small glow of light fluttering away. A firefly most would guess it to be, but he knew better. His hand shot out and closed around the little speck of light as it passed. He held it gently, not wishing to crush it in his hand by accident, and slowly brought his closed gauntlet near his helm before slowly releasing his clutched fingers.

Resting in the palm of his metal palm was a little glowing sprite. Her wings were long and slender, shaped like that of a dragonfly's. Her eyes were entirely black, and shone like wet stones in fire light. She was also pouting at him, like a spoiled child that had just been caught in the act of some mischief, which was technically accurate description of of what had happened. The glow she emitted changed from a sandy green to an orange tinted gold, indicating annoyance but still feeling playful.

"Ah, what did you have to go and do that for," She hissed, she voice small and squeaky yet somehow clear despite the size difference. "I was having fun! Do you know how rare it is to find that many people that easy to play with? Why they practically fall flat on their own. Oh the much fun I would have had with those the tree." She started to giggle to herself, lost in her dreams of the petty games she would play upon the unsuspecting three.

"As 'interesting' as your little games sound, I must confess my intrigue as to why you chose to play them upon the girls? Especially with three of the strange courts nearby."

"Four, actually." The knight paused, the sprite took it as an unspoken question. "You miscounted the bard, did the difference of hair color not go noticed by you? Or were you too busy trying to be the 'chivalrous and caring knight' to the girl and the little daemon spawn at the time?" She made a mocking gesture as her tone became joking. The knights hand started to close back around her again. "Alright I was joking, lighten up!" She hissed, and he reopened his hand again. She made muttering's of a typical lack of humor on his part before continuing. "And you wrong on two parts, the daemon spawn and the bard aren't part of the either evening or mourning courts. Their from too far away to be members of any of our forest domains."

"Yet you still acted despite the chance of discovery?" The inquired. "That seems like quite the foolish thing to do, even for one as simple minded as you."

Her response was to yell at him. "Hey! I was just doing as I was told! Don't call me simple minded or I might be putting warts on your feet." She huffed and crossed her arms, turning away from him in another pout, her glow changing to a darker shade of orange.

"So someone did task you to do this?"

She winced and turned back to him. "You tricked me into saying that didn't you." The sprite eyed him irritatedly. "I'm supposed to be the trickster, remember?"

"Would you have told me if I simply asked?" She turned away from him again in yet another pout. "Of course I'd never tell a big dummy bucket head like you!" She shouted.

"And so the deception was needed." He said firmly. Stretching his arm back out he released the sprite. "Go now, play your games elsewhere. I have my own business"" to attend to in town now." She flew out of his hand pausing to stick her tongue out him and shout "I'll pay you back for that, bucket head! A trick for a trick, mark my words!" before flying off. He would have cringed at that if he could. Members of the fey rarely went back on promises of revenge like that. He could probably expect some mud getting splashed on him or, or step in horse droppings, or something else equally petty in the next few days.

But more importantly a Fae was behind the 'random tripping' that befell all three women. One that was asked to make this meeting happen between the five involved.

Was this what the voice of the cold Autumn wind meant?

His conversation went uninterrupted because the people walking by him somehow seemed to not notice him and the sprite. A stark contrast to earlier when the crowds avoided him like he was diseased. That changed when he moved again, his presence somehow notice able again as the people once more avoided getting in his way.

He returned to his horse, the creature had drawn a small group to admire it. It's coat seeming to shine like silver under the thin moonlight. While the knight tended to make people weary of his presence the horse tended to make others drawn to its.

A mistake on others parts though, as one could argue that the beast was more dangerous then him.

The small group of three that surrounded the horse dispersed when they noticed him returning. He motioned for the creature to follow him. "Come, you can eat later. We have to find our own lodgings for the night." The horse snorted, displeased but compliant, and they both set off to find a stable.

They had meant to only pass through town on their way, but now it would appear that he was going to have reason too stay for the next few nights after all.

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The princess seemed reluctant as she accepted the knight’s hand and allowed him to assist her in standing up. She seemed afraid for some reason… Then again, to anyone who wasn’t used to tall people or people who wear armor… It must have been a shock to her. However, being used to big people, because of how tall and large her father was and how tall she is for a girl, she was thought nothing of the mans height. It hadn’t even crossed her mind that he was rather big. She didn’t think him small at all either. She just didn’t think about it. His suit of armor did not make her question or fear either. As a mermaid, she was training to be a royal guard and wore armor herself. She also worked with people who wore armor. She just didn’t think about it, let alone as being strange or intimidating.


"The two of you are not from around here, I take it." The man spoke. "If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler." Echo looked at Knell, but said nothing. What should they respond?

Out of seemingly nowhere, yet another girl fell beside Knell and Echo. This one had crimson hair. It must be a mermaid gathering. Mermaids were far less graceful than humans. Then again, this other girl did not resemble a mermaid much. She seemed much more accustomed to human behavior. After the girl face-planted, she seemed a little frustrated for a second, but it didn’t take long for her to brush it off. "Ya know, your hairs pretty cool." She said to Knell.

"Is there a little faerie playing pranks nearby? For all the tripping doesn't seem normal." Said the knight "Is something wrong miss?" He lent his hand to the red head as he had previously to Knell.

"Good evening," A cheery man stated. It was when he said this that Echo realized that music had been playing… And only because it had stopped did she come to that realization. "Sir knight and lovely ladies." He bowed to Knell, Echo and the girl with the crimson hair. He then moved toward Knell and took her hand, softly caressing it with his lips. "I hope you are well, did your fall hurt you?" His face twisted with concern as he released her hand from his grasp. He then reached for Echo’s hand and repeated his gesture. Flustered, Echo blushed and turned her red face away from him. She was not used to this sort of action… People usually ignored her or hated her. Knell was the only one who ever paid her any heed… And the kissing of one’s hand seemed to be something only done among royalty and greeting them. "You too, sweet lady, I hope that the fall didn't hurt you." Addressing Echo and the redhead. "What are your name, my fair ladies? Sir knight here is correct when he said that you mustn't walk without escort during this time of the night!"

Turning to the redhead, he continued speaking. His attention was focused on the women. "Good evening too, mademoiselle. This is-" He stopped himself as he noticed her tears… Echo had not noticed them until that moment either. She shuffled her feet in guilt. "My lady?" The cheery man said with concern.

"A-Ah... Thank you..." She responded, "Sorry. I'm just a bit home sick.” She turned to the Knight, "Her hair reminds me of the ocean, where I once lived... I'm Angelique Silver, part of the Silver clan far from this region." She bowed. "But anyhow, I do think the faerie are also at work. I've tripped far too many times these past few days. Yesterday I got up to about 20 falls. Not the brightest of days. I was hoping today would be better, though it seems it won't be much different... Thank you both for your concern, I should be taking my leave at this point. I have a lot of things I need to do before tomorrow's dawn." With that, the talkative girl sprinted away.

After she sprinted away, Knell answered a question asked a while back, “The two of us are indeed travellers, but our reasons for doing so are simply that we wish to see the world. And we are not alone, we have hired ourselves an escort to guide and protect us.I wish to thank the both of you for the kindness shown to myself and my friend, it’s not often you find such politeness in others, especially when those others are strangers. My name is Knell-Li . . . “ Echo’s eyes widened as she looked over at Knell. She couldn’t tell them her full name. People could find out her true identity! ”Blackburn,” Echo sighed with relief. Her tense muscles relaxed. “and my dear friend here, is Echo Thrussell.” Echo said nothing. She simple stood beside her.

“Again, thank you two for your kindness, but Echo and myself need to be on our way. We shall be in town for the next two days or so, if you feel compelled, you may look us up at the Inn. Goodbye, Sir Knight" Echo fallowed Knell toward the inn, brushing her hair nervously with her figures. She sighed. What a complicated event. Was Knell used to such occurrences as a princess? Echo didn’t know. She couldn’t be around Knell when other people were around… They weren’t allowed to be friends by law… On land, they were simply two travelers, so it was okay. Would such complicated events have occurred if Echo had kept track of Knell? She didn’t know… But Knell was mature enough that Echo didn’t have to keep track of her every second. However, Knell wasn’t as physically strong as Echo, so it wasn’t a good idea for her to be walking around alone. If they were still in Oceania, Echo wouldn’t be so worried about Knell. They knew the area… The people there. And Knell was a princess, so there were people to protect her. However, even their homeland was no longer safe for Knell since there were assassins after her. It was unlikely that they would be able to protect her there. And Knell didn’t want to get married… That was coming up too. What a complicated life her friend lived. Royalty was no fun.

As she fallowed Knell, she stumbled again. However, she did not fall down. She was able to maintain enough balance not to fall. Gravity is the most horrifying this in the world! Echo thought to herself with a shudder. There was no more floating with the current. Not she had to fight to move forward… Fight an unbeatable force… Gravity. Ugh… Gravity. Echo clenched her fist, but smiled slightly so that she would not make Knell worried about her. She shivered slightly, but soon she regained full composure. Everything would be alright.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis Character Portrait: Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra
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"Have you made your decision, Agent Mercury?"

Art had been leaning on a railing at the time, a railing that curved in a semi-circle around the outer edge of marble stone that lay beneath his feet. It was a terrace, and he was looking out from it, his eye cast outwards towards the beach that lay on the eastern border of the town he was in. It was late then, the dusk of the night slowly fading and night truly being cast into darkness. The voice came from behind him, and he offered no acknowledgment at first, his gaze still remaining on the far beach. He didn't need to look anyway, he knew he the voice belonged to. It was Agent Sol, his superior. His only superior, at that. And a person very close to him.

"Agent Mercury, I implore you. Have you made your decision?"

He could hear Sol approaching behind him, footsteps getting closer. Before Sol got to far, Art held up his right hand in a gesture that signaled Sol to stop. "I have." His voice was steeled, hiding whatever emotions he could from Sol.

"And? What have you dec-"

"Love. I choose love." He had cut Sol off, his words laced with an unintentional harshness. The hand he had placed on the rail tightened, his knuckles beginning to turn white. He lowered his gaze to the lit city below him. He thought it was beautiful.

"I have made you very well aware of the consequences of that choice, Agent Mercury. So I will ask you again; Have you made your decision?"

Art turned his gaze up to the moon, taking a deep inhale of the night air. He stared for a moment before turning around to face Sol and nodding, beginning to walk past Sol, bumping their shoulders in the process. He took a few more steps forward before turning his head back, his uncovered eye looking at Sol.

"Yes."

†††


It had been nearly a year now that had passed since he had made up his mind, choosing love and ultimately sacrificing his position in the Celestial Freelancers. Not that it mattered much, because his love was sacrificed as a consequence, and he was cast out. Since then, Art had been offering up his services for a fee, as a mercenary. He didn't ask questions, he just did what he was told if he was payed enough coin.

And as it were, Art had just been taken upon for his services, but a young lady and her companion. And went as any other of his deals went. He was asked to protect, and he was given money. Upon receiving the money, he offered up only a singular nod and became their armed escort. No questions asked, from either side. Upon listening to them talk, he discovered their names. Echo and Knell. And so, right before they had arrived into town, he had offered them his.

"You can address me as Art."

Those were the first and only words he had said to them so far, and as soon as they hit town, the two girls wondered off whilst Art went off to find the Inn. That doesn't, of course, mean he simply left them alone. It hadn't taken him much more than a few mere minutes before he had acquired lodging and was following them from a distance again, assuring they stayed out of trouble and harm's way.

He was going to approach them, too, but the two girls split up and one was soon eating dirt in the middle of a crowd. Art would have moved in to help her himself had it not been for the large armored man that approached instead. Art remained cautious at that, placing his right hand on the hilt of the sword that lay on his right hip. The other five were on his back, two being placed over three. He was at an unrecognizable distance at this point, merely laying in wait for something to threaten them. Which, of course, never happened. And as soon as the small band of people were together, they were apart again.

As they disbanded, Art himself weaved through crowds and ended up back at the Inn before his employers. But only barely, for he was not even returned there for a mere minute before one of the girls walked in and nearly ran right into him. Art easily prevented it by moving his hands up to place them on the girl's shoulders and root her in place, disabling her from walking forward any further. When he noted she was stable, he dropped his hands to his side once more and gave her a look. It was the one who had payed him, Knell.

"You're a fool, stumbling all over the place. You pay me to protect you, but I implore that you be more careful. I can't exactly protect you if you're drawing attention to yourself, which you also seem to have done already." His voice was slightly hushed, and his eye turned upwards to rest upon Echo, and then one of the girls from the group behind her. His hands found Knell's shoulders once more and he pivoted on his heel, seemingly turning her with him and moving her out of earshot from the group, voice dropping to a whisper. "Not to mention, you've brought somebody with you. You're too trusting. That'll be your downfall. I'll do my part in protecting you, your friend, and even those you bring into the group. But you must do your part in making sure I don't have to protect you. Got it? I'm just a precautionary measure."

He released his hands once more and frowned, realizing that he either just scared the girl, or made her angry. Either way, he steeled himself for whatever reaction she was about to offer up in retaliation, hand finding it's way back to the hilt of his sword, and his gaze finding it's way to the black-haired girl that followed in behind the two girls he had been payed to protect.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra
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Knell’s face reddened at the lecture given to her by the hired Mercenary. So what if she were clumsy? There was no reason for him to go and dare lecture her when she had hiredhim. Had he forgotten so easily that were the case? Yes, she had nearly walked right into him upon entering into the Inn, but if one were standing right in the way of the entrance, it was bound to happen. It was his own fault for just loitering there like a slug, not hers for merely walking as she was suppose to. Why was he so irksome compared to the land dwellers she had exchanged words with shortly before?

Yes, he had a reputation for being a powerful ally and a dependable guide, but as far as Knell was concerned, the man was overstepping his bounds now by daring to treat her as if she were a child. . . . The mermaid allowed her head to tilt downward, her bangs hiding her aqua eyes as she began to idly chew on her lower lip while trying to keep her composure maintained.

’I can’t believe him, the nerve of this man. . . .’

’You know that when you hired him yesterday that he might go and say such things to you—don’t you remember me warning you about his type?’

’Canaan, you spoke about his ‘type’ as if I were looking to have him court me, of course I didn’t pay any heed to your ridiculous words.’

Didn’t she get enough lecturing from everyone back home, from her parents, from the servants and from her sisters when the lot of them were still around? Echo chided her as well, but Knell was perfectly content with her words since she legitimately showed concern for her wellbeing, and since her words were not solely about upholding the status of her family or her nation. This Mercenary now was merely saying what he said to her in order to save himself some trouble and his own job—how would it look to the world if he had gone and failed a simple escorting assignment?

To top it off, he had forced her away from Echo and the girl who claimed to be that ninja’s companion from earlier. He had forced her away. She had not been given a choice to follow after him, no, she had been made to come along.
With her fists tightening at her sides, clenching and unclenching in the materials of her skirt and apron, Knell breathed in and out slowly, trying to quell her madly beating heart. No, she could not become angered right now. Such a careless act would only cause Echo to become upset, and it would cause problems for herself as well. Inside her mind Canaan stirred about, feeling his sister’s resentment, and her lividness. He understood that she was not happy to be treated like a child by someone who was not exactly much older than she was.

Perhaps she was indeed a princess who knew little of the world beyond the last few weeks, but she still had that pride of hers, the pride of a mermaid, of a princess. Land dwellers of all sorts were below that, they were nothing compared to the vastly superior Merfolk. Even if Knell as a person was not at all worth much, her bloodline was still more important than that of a common human’s, at least one who acted as if he understood the whole workings of the world.

’Heh, do you feel like going off on the man for chiding you Knell? If you do, then just let him have it.’

’No . . . no, I-I cannot, even if his attitude has indeed irked me, going on a tangent would only cause more trouble than it would do to solve anything.’ Knell replied, letting a shaky breath out from her lungs. With her decision on how to react to him made, the teal-haired girl raised her still red face back up, a hint of a pout upon her features. “I do not agree with your words Mercenary, my choices are mine alone, you were hired to guide and to protect myself and my friend during our travels—from monsters and things of that nature. The girl I have brought along with me is no such thing, and she is no threat.” She told him her voice stern, also refusing to use his name. “Even if she is not a friend or companion, she has done nothing to try to harm me, so I ask you to now just do your job without lecturing me.”

With this, Knell turned on her heel and set her hands upon the front of her skirt, lifting it up a bit to make the walking easier. The innards of the town’s Inn were simple, the lobby was very quaint. A fireplace, stairs leading to the upper floor, and there was a small area with a couch and chairs for one to rest on. ’Mm, good job keeping your cool sis.’

’Why can he not be as kind as the Knight from earlier? Or even the Bard . . . even if he was a flirtatious thing.’

’Would you rather the man be trying to charm you left and right now Knell?’ To this, her face reddened and her heart skipped a beat in her chest from embarrassment.

’No! Of course not Canaan, but it would be nice if the Mercenary were a bit more . . . I am not sure, humble?’

Wandering on over to an open couch, Knell set herself down upon and breathed out quietly as she set a hand over her heart, her face still a shade of red. Knell remained quiet as she allowed her body to sink into the worn out cushions, and simply relaxed as she thought back over earlier, the Knight and the Bard. The latter’s lute playing had been . . . something else, perhaps the most lovely thing Knell had the pleasure of hearing since she and Echo had escaped to the surface weeks ago. He had been so skilled in his playing, it seemed almost unnatural, and it was entrancing enough to nearly make her sing like the mermaid she was.

He had been so handsome too, he had even gone on to compliment her despite wearing simple peasant clothing and bearing the repulsive form of land dweller. What little beauty she did possess, it was only evident when she bore her tail once more, unlike her sisters, she was not truly a lovely thing to see, just . . . ordinary, perhaps she had a bit of beauty in her, but it was nothing compared to her sisters.

Her sisters, even if they had been cruel to her as children, Knell was certain that even they would be utterly gorgeous even with legs. Ciel, Sunil, Tiamat, Alya, Bellatrix, and Xanthe were the pride of Oceania—all six of them were strikingly beautiful in their own ways, and each had undeniable charms that made them just irresistible. And it seemed that she as the seventh daughter had been left with nothing, her sisters had taken everything her parents had to offer in terms of beauty and talents. Everything she had as Knell were simple scraps. Her loveliness was nonexistent, even as a mermaid with her tail, she was still nothing special to gaze upon compared to her sisters, and to Echo as well. Why, even as a human, Echo was a lovely woman as she always was.

Contrasted to the six of her sisters, Knell knew that she was nothing in the eyes of her mother and father, to Llyr and Maris. She was just something they gave life to, even if they didn’t want to—no, she remembered as children what her sisters said about her. They’d called her a witch and said she’d sucked the life right out of her brother, right out of Canaan whose soul rested within her now.

’You know you don’t need to go and reflect on the things that make you upset Knell, whatever happened when we were babies, you weren’t the reason my body died.’ Canaan told her.

’Even if I know that’s true Canaan, I don’t understand why they were all so mean to me. Why it was they saw fit to torment me so.’ Knell’s face had become vacant as she mused over the past, over the treatment her sisters’ had chosen to inflict upon her . . . scorching her with hot rocks, locking her in cupboards, pinching her with crab claws. . . . Calling her a monster, saying she was the reason Canaan had died. . . . All of this would only come to stop after Echo had entered her life, the mermaid had given her all to protect Knell from the torment as children.

Knell honestly believed that the only reason she lived now was because of the woman. And quietly as she ruminated, the irritability she felt toward the Mercenary all but faded away as a sort of gentle melancholy overtook her, her mind happened back over the events of earlier. To the kindly, yet physically daunting Knight and to coy, yet pleasant Bard, and to the rather flighty and awkward ninja Angelique. The memory of the Bard’s lute strumming hit Knell again, and the urge to sing bubbled to the surface of her psyche once more . . . really, what could it hurt for her to sing a few lines? It wasn’t as if the dead language of her people was common knowledge—as far as many would be concerned, it would be but simple gibberish. ’If you really feel so compelled to . . . just go ahead and sing some Knell.’

With a distant look shining in those aqua colored eyes of hers, Knell brought her hands up to her chest and intertwined her fingers there as she shut her eyes and allowed her body to relax as she opened her pale lips to let the words flow out to the recollection of the Bard’s music. Even if no one else could hear it, her words flowed along in rhythm to it. . . . ”Was touwaka erra 0x vvi. Melenas yor. Xest mea corpu tes iasien, en morto, hartes yor etealune.”

Because of her shut eyes, Knell failed to noticed that the few other people in the lobby besides herself, her travelling companions and the girl who claimed to be Angel’s travelling companion had gone quiet as she began to sing. The lot of them looked over to the songstress as she allowed her voice to come forth.

”Tek zaam en ciel, knawa ther mea sphiliar yanje pitod yor. Refem ar enne celetille weak en altar pitod eux. . . .” And while just for herself, Knell continued on singing, letting herself be lost in song and to forget the past and the world around her for the time being.

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra
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Angel sighed, pouting a bit as it seemed she was found out by the bard. She bid them all a far well as she followed the strange ocean-haired girls to the Inn, only to break away from them and get a room with the last bit of money she had. "Crap..." Angel mumbled, scratching her head only to turn and see Knell and Echo talking with a strange man who seemed to be slightly upset, or at least, as far as she could tell with his tone of voice. She had listined to the part until where he said he was paid to protect them.

"Protect from who...?" Angel asked herself quietly, her black hair covering her left eye as she seemed to lose focus of everything around her, her hair and eyes shifting back into her human form. Realizing this, she tied her hair back into the pony tail, frowning. What a lovely prank it would of been if no one would of found out. She needed a job, mumbling a few curse words under her breath only to shut up once she heard Knell start singing words Angel couldn't understand. Angel waited though for the song to be over before speaking up. "You sing beautifully too Knell." Angel said, a gentle smile on her face.

"Almost unlike those in this world. I imagine a mermaid to sing as beautifully as you do." Angel added, twirling her red hair. "I'm sorry if my changing of colors may confuse you. I'm... 'Special' in a way. Half human, half demon. An outcast to my own race." Angel said with a sigh as she bowed to Knell respectfully. "Now... I asume I should could. I need to found a job so I can keep paying for my room." Angel spoke, her eyes staring into Knell's for a moment before Angel turned and began to head out the door.

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
"Thank you, Margaret!" The violet-haired bard exclaimed, happily turning his shining crimson-colored eyes toward the plump brunette who was busily gaping adoringly at him. "I-it was nothing!" She answered dreamily, a smitten look painted in her face.

He actually had asked for the cheapest room in the inn, though he had earned some coins earlier, it wasn't enough for a spacious and luxurious room. Not that he cared about the size, for the musician, all he wanted was to stay somewhere close where he can keep an eye towards the interesting group that he met on the plaza earlier.

Still, Margaret had kindly offered him one of the best rooms available and asked him instead of the usual rate, a pay equivalent of a normal room. With a beaming smile, she loudly and graciously gave him the key.

After the normal proceedings for renting a room were done, Clavis, the ever so flamboyant travelling musician just let out a smile before side stepping away from the girl and walking towards the door.

"I'll be having the room for the next two days then, my lady. For now, though I hate to leave your lovely companion, I must go out and find something to drink. I've been parched for quite awhile now and else I want to pass out like a wilting flower in the desert, I should find myself something to quench this thirst." He poetically stated adding quite a number of flowery gestures to stress his words.

He took off his hat and made his usual motions of bowing towards the lady in front of him. Seeing her muted look, he settled into a nod, grinning and went out the door.

He studied the half-empty street for a moment and found himself looking directly towards the inn where the tumbling ladies had disappeared into before. Though he is quite interested with the teal-haired girl and her companion, Clavis had decided to postpone meeting with them until the morrow- where fate would surely have planned for him to see them again.

It is late now and no matter how ephemeral they looked, there is still a touch of unnatural humanity that reminds the violet-haired man that they need enough rest to go on for the next day, unlike him.

Unlike his kind who never needed sleep in order to function properly, they certainly should take a rest.

His kind, in all absoluteness, had been the mostly talked one. They were never commonly seen in the land of Gaea Minor. In fact, of all the magical creatures that exists, theirs can be considered the ones most used for horror stories meant to scare young children to bed and is also undeniably the downplayed types.

Most of the living beings, human or not, didn't dare believe of their existence. It wasn't because they are someone immensely powerful or thoroughly hidden ones. The reason is simple enough, his race was one of those that had been supposedly obliterated hundreds of years ago. Vanishing in the midst of forgotten archive never to be seen again. Not one of his kind should have survived and yet here he was.

He was still living ... 'living' a somewhat adventurous, if not normal, existence in this era.

It had always been to Clavis' enjoyment whenever he meets interesting people. Detached and yet sociable as he is, above all, Clavis greatly look forward to being able to have the chance to uncover a challenge. Such challenges he determines himself. He loved solving puzzles through unearthing different clues and searching solutions for those problems.

The scene in the plaza beforehand had undoubtedly temporarily issued a challenge for the bard.

Repainting the tumbling girl's face in his mind, he was able to recall her expressive yet guarded blue eyes. Her lithe and small body easily tells him of her frail stature. One who is not specifically trained for physical combat but her whole aura emits a different scene. Also recalling her companion, Clavis noted that while taller and looking different enough not to be mistaken as the other girl's sibling, Echo still held the same bearing Knell-li had. She held such a caring and motherly face unlike the smaller girl's aristocratic ones. Her body was also fit, oddly fit enough for battle.

Unable to prevent the blossoming smile off his face, Clavis decided that he'd certainly stick around their group for the moment. There is something in both of the girl's demeanor that entices him and being the curious person that he is, he will do all the initial necessary steps in order to solve this puzzle.

He had been lost in his thoughts for awhile and only when he saw a familiar person going out of the inn was the moment that he had been cut off his musings. Noting the now red-colored tresses, the violet-haired bard sauntered his way towards the girl.

"We met again, mademoiselle!" Since he did not have the chance to place his hat back on his head, he just tucked it in front of his chest and bowed customarily in greeting.

"Where are you going at this time of the night, my lady? 'Is not safe for you to venture out during this time." He cocked his head sideways and waited for her answer. Just like Knell and Echo, completing the trio set of tumbling ladies, Angel had a different type of bearing within her. She obviously wasn't a normal human as what she showed them beforehand. In fact, her skill reminded him of another race's ability. He knew not much about her and was also unusually interested in learning more about her enigmatic personality.

((AMI, I might edit the last part later. It will depend on Wake's post. Please ignore the last part of my post for the moment. :D Won't edit this because of Wake's recent post. ^^))

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Baffled, Echo listened as Art, the mercenary chewed Knell out. "You're a fool, stumbling all over the place. You pay me to protect you, but I implore that you be more careful. I can't exactly protect you if you're drawing attention to yourself, which you also seem to have done already." Echo felt her heart pump ferociously. Neither Knell nor herself could help the fact that they were tripping. It wasn't as though people stumbled on purpose! Gravity was a relentless and painful thing. It was pointless to fight against it and not being clumsy, he had no right to lecture Knell about falling and drawing attention to herself! Steaming, Echo watched him as he looked up at her. She felt as though her eyes could turn red from the flames burning within her. The mercenary lowered his voice as to ensure that Echo could not hear him... But she could. She heard his whispers of discouragement as he grabbed Knell's shoulders and spun her around. How dare he touch the princess-or anyone else for that matter- without her consent! "Not to mention, you've brought somebody with you. You're too trusting. That'll be you downfall. I'll do my part in protecting you, your friend, and even those you bring into the group. But you must do your part in making sure I don't have to protect you. Got it? I'm just a precautionary measure." And how could he possible know what the two had been through together...? What both of them had sacrificed! He had no right to lecture Knell like that... And to assume that Echo couldn't hear him. Sure, he was just trying to protect her... But there was such a thing as surpassing the line of protective and becoming rude and obnoxious. Not only that, but he had lost all the trust Echo had for him... Even if it wasn't that much. How could someone they hired together try to force them away from each other? It was his job to protect the two of them.

After the lecture, Art let go of Knell. Echo wanted so desperately to say something... To yell at this mercenary who she could not trust.... To speak her mind and tell him what she thought on the matter... But it wasn't as though he would listen to someone of as little importance as Echo... It didn't matter what she had sacrificed to him. He didn't trust her and his lack of trust in her caused what little trust she had in him to melt away. There wasn't any way she could respond to him that he would understand... Plus Canaan might say something. Echo didn't know. She was less in sync with the boy than she was with his sister. Echo watch Knell, wondering if she would stay in control or if her brother would take over. It was so hard to predict Canaan. Oddly enough, it seemed Knell was going to keep control.

“I do not agree with your words Mercenary, my choices are mine alone, you were hired to guide and to protect myself and my friend during our travels—from monsters and things of that nature. The girl I have brought along with me is no such thing, and she is no threat.” Knell stood her ground, her voice as grounded and unwavering as a rock. There wasn't the slightest hint of nervousness. The princess seemed to know exactly what she was saying as she spoke. “Even if she is not a friend or companion, she has done nothing to try to harm me, so I ask you to now just do your job without lecturing me.” A smile leaked onto Echo's face. She was proud of her dear friend for sticking up for herself and others... As well as being so mature and calm about it while she responded.

As Knell walked away and plopped onto the couch nearby, Echo wondered about the girl from before... Angel, wasn't it? It was so strange that she had appeared to them once looking one way, yet came back looking like someone completely different... How was that? Was she like Echo and Knell? Not human? Was she an angel or some other non-human species? She looked more like a demon than an angel to Echo. Could she be trusted? It was very hard to know when one just met a person... As time moved on, maybe Echo would know... Or maybe they wouldn't see each other again after the day was up. Only time could reveal these things to her.

Echo's thoughts were interrupted by something like a memory being replayed in front of her. Knell began to sing to a lute... It was just like something that had happened in the past... It was as though the same instrument that played the first time Echo heard Knell sing this was playing now... She felt the song flow within her, this was one tune she knew well… Everything around her seemed to melt away as she listened to the familiar melody. ”Was touwaka erra 0x vvi. Melenas yor. Xest mea corpu tes iasien, en morto, hartes yor etealune.” Knell sang with her most beautiful voice. ”Tek zaam en ciel, knawa ther mea sphiliar yanje pitod yor. Refem ar enne celetille weak en altar pitod eux. . . .” Echo saw only she and Knell she didn’t notice anyone else around, for she felt the song too well… It seemed to be the only thing she could concentrate on. Perhaps it was the simple sorrow of the song that Echo could relate to... Maybe it was more than just that though.

The song seemed to course through her veins--the sentiment growing stronger and stronger until she could not contain it within herself any longer. "Wearequewie li dyya, enne refem whalt sillia lilen mea.” Echo chimed in… Her voice was as beautiful as Knells, yet she refused to believe it. The two were extremely beautiful singers, even for mermaids. Echo never sang in front of anyone other than Knell… Until now. However, she was so absorbed by the song she had no idea other people were around. “Zassyen focs gauto oz ween lydaou, syana dea quesa ween ciel, refem yor lauttyca boches ther dyya.” The lyrics flowed from within her in such a beautiful flow. She felt the rhythm pulse within her. “Firle infel nnoini murfanare. Heighte hopb.” The lyrics were in a language only royal merfolk knew. Not being a royal, Echo shouldn't know the language... However, Knell had taught it to her some time ago... And she knew it as well as any royal. Such fond memories the language possessed... But while in Oceania, Echo could never let on that she knew such a sacred language. This was one thing that being above land gave her an advantage of... She could singe her favorite language without worrying about being caught... However, she still didn't sing in front of others... Or so she thought as she was lost in the song. She forgot about the others around her...

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
Song.

Few could truly understand the full significance of it. Words and melodies, used to express the true sense of emotion through sound and reverberations. To some, these sounds can strike a cord in their own souls and echo their meaning. Song was in a sense a message, written in it's own language. You could hear the rhythm and verse, but you could only understand the meaning if you knew the feeling behind it, even if you were the one singing it. This is what all songs are under the surface.

Beneath that, a song sung from the heart held an even deeper meaning. One that needed a spiritual knowledge to comprehend.

Even if he couldn't hear it, he could feel the song even from where he walked. It was an echo, ancient, from a time long, long ago. Even if it was only a shadow of the former meaning, the essence of the song still washed over him. A reminder of the meaning the words, and the sway they once had withes the courts. It remained a minor struggle for the knight to not get caught in the sway of the feeling.

He shook himself of the songs influence. The feeling, though... enticing, was distracting him from his thoughts. The knight had spotted the bard in the street after he had found a stable for his horse. While he had written the musician off earlier as interloper, he had become slightly curious toward what the sprite had said. Particularly of what she had said of his origins and connections to the creatures of the east.

The knight approached the bard from behind, stopping behind him just as he called out a greeting to the red haired girl, Angelique if he remembered correctly.

"You should not have exposed the girl so quickly." The knight said from where he stood, arms crossed as he watched the inn. "Some here in the west aren't as... tolerant of those with her kind of parentage as they are in the east."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania
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Knell ceased her singing as soon as she heard the too beautiful voice of her dearest friend pick up volume. The song she had begun to sing was one that only she and Echo herself would know—the tune carried deeply embedded emotions within it, it was a song of old, the reflection of a nearly forgotten story to the merpeople of Oceania. It was a legend told only by the royal family now, a legend told only in the near dead tongue of the royal family. The language that Knell herself knew, and that she had taught to her dearest friend as a show of the gratitude and trust she held in her. . . . The language being something which had been designed eras ago to express the emotions a person, and to emphasize them over anything else, Knell had felt that teaching such a language to someone she held such feelings toward was the best way possible to express them.

Knell sat there silent after ceasing her own section of the ancient tune, and allowed the barest hints of a smile to creep upon her face, as she watched Echo sing her fragile heart out with that goddesslike voice of hers. Such a voice sounded beyond the realm of mortality, it sounded as if it had to be something granted by the otherworld, by gods or other such things. The voice held within Echo was a captivating one, it was something which nearly stole the better sense of the unprepared right out from underneath them.

It was something of which, Knell envied dearly. Echo was a gorgeous mermaid, beautiful with her lovely tail and even stunning as a human, even with legs, the girl possessed a build which bespoke of a natural grace within her, even if gravity betrayed that sense on land quite often. So, not only was Echo an utterly beautiful mermaid, she held the voice of a goddess within her throat, all mermaids were notoriously talented songstresses by the standards of many . . .but even among them, Echo held a voice unlike any other.

Even her own sisters couldn’t hope to compare, even if they were the pride of Oceania with their beauty and charms, not a single one of the six had any hope of ever outshining Echo in the ways of music. . . . And Knell couldn’t help but feel a tug upon her heart as she listened to the mermaid’s voice, that pang of jealousy. How she yearned for a gift like that to help her stand out against her sisters! She was the seventh daughter of her parents, a child who inherited only the remnants of what was left behind by her sisters after their births. Her beautiful and talented sisters . . . though they had been cruel to her in childhood, Knell wished that she could shine like they. She wished for beauty like theirs, for charms as theirs, something that made her special too.

All she could do was sing, and even that was nothing significant. Her voice was just as most other mermaids, entrancing and beautiful, but just a voice. . . . Knell had heard the compliment granted to her by the ninja, by the one known as Angelique after she seemed to have slipped back into her normal form. And she had heard what she had said about herself as well . . . about being an outcast to her own people. Half human and half demon, though Knell herself wasn’t quite certain what a ‘demon’ was considered to be by land dwellers. There was a definition of it among her own people, but. . . .

’Oh, it doesn’t matter. No matter what she is, Angelique seems a good enough person.’ Knell thought to herself, continuing to watch Echo sing as did many of the other Inn’s patrons.

’Looks like our dear Echo here is having a bit of fun, huh?’ Canaan mused, sounding amused.

’Indeed so Canaan—and I’m happy about that. In Oceania, she and I never got a chance to sing together or to sing within the language we shared because of traditions and law.’

’Yeah, I remember that quite well. . . .’

How could Canaan not have known? He was as much a part of her as . . . she herself was. He and she had been bound together as far back as she could remember, everything she’d ever been through, he knew. That included the times that she’d suffered by the hands of her sisters, and the times she and Echo had been torn apart because of the laws and rules.
’I truly do envy Echo for that voice of hers, and for so many other reasons. She’s truly an amazing mermaid. . . .’
’Indeed she is.’ Canaan agreed, going quite in his half of Knell’s mind. Without making a noise, Knell sighed quietly, and allowed her body to sink into the worn down sofa. She shut her eyes and just let Echo’s voice flow through her body, and she gave into the relaxation the melody was imbued with. The ancient story was a sad one, but the song itself was full of a bittersweet sentiment, one that left you wanting to both tear up and smile . . . yet it was also something which left one wanting to just relax and to enjoy life. That was something Knell had not had a lot of in the last weeks with all that had happened, the near assassination, the fear of losing her life, and adjusting to living on land. . . . All of it was not easy, and everything seemed to be passing by her so very quickly—everything was stressful and scary.

But this simple moment, just listening to the song, it was a simple joy, and a moment to relax. Though Knell knew she had to deal with the Mercenary again shortly, she would just let herself go for now, and be lost to Echo’s envy worthy voice. The people she had met today, they would be just a distant memory to her for the time being, and she would only come out of this trance if she were bothered.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Clavis
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Angel smiled lightly as she noticed the bard from before. His purple hair made him noticeable easily to her, which came as a surprise since she was horrid at everything else. "Oi, it's good to see you, but I am not helpless! I'm a proud ninja of the Silver clan!" Angel whispered slightly harshly, yet slightly kind. She was still in a large amount of trouble with a few people whom seemed to follow her here. She opened her mouth to say something, yet the knight came seemed displeased about the way the bard had given her away.

"Indeed... I was actually injured in the last town due to my race. Some of them even followed me here... I do not believe being with me is safe. So be aware you may be harmed if you stay with me." Angel tried to warn gently, wanting no harm to take place to anyone. "And to answer your question sir, I am simply looking for a mere job I can earn a few coins for quickly to make sure I have enough for food and to keep paying for my room at the Inn. I also believe I do not know either of your names." Angel politely stated, fixing her saddles without much trouble. Looking up at the sky, she smiled as the first star began to glow. Beautifully, she noted who quickly the days seemed to have gone by, not much longer would be be able to train, meaning she may not become the head of her family after all. They of course would love that, not wanting a half-breed as an heir.

It would be bad for their reputation, knowing how many enemies the Silvers' had. A weak member if their family would certainly be their down fall, and they obviously didn't want that. They didn't even want her at all, or they wouldn't have kicked her out or treated her so poorly. Perhaps he father had done the same to her mother, or maybe her parents weren't of the Sliver clan at all. Maybe her father had adopted her, but that was besides the point.

What she felt strange was how the knight seemed to care so much about if the bard had exposed her. No one had ever cared before, even if it was mild. She was simply used to it, and felt it was awkward how she was suddenly slightly cared for. She was a prideful girl, tending to always plot things slightly or to certain people spill her guts. Some just seemed to have a strange effect on her like the girls inside the Inn.

Perhaps it was because she felt some strange high and mighty personality like her father had. She knew that the personality like that could easily make her do such things, but did one if those girls have that personality?

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
The knight gave a brief incline of his shoulders as a short bow. "My name is Crane, Ichabod miss." He said, his voice in a polite tone. However body language changed quickly, his arms coming uncrossed and his body shifting in stance. "You said someone was chasing after you?" Crane was slightly more alert now. He gave a brief scan over the street before settling his sight back on Angelique, trying to spot the wound she spoke of. "Do you need any help? I could 'persuade' them into leaving you be."

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
"Oi, it's good to see you, but I am not helpless! I'm a proud ninja of the Silver clan!" The red-haired girl replied as answer to his query and he was about to respond back when a familiar looming figure suddenly appeared. Bowing as what he had been used to, he then heard the knight comment about his earlier actions.

Remembering perfectly well on how he revealed the girl's true nature, he let out a sheepish smile. He turned back to Angel and bowed in apology. "I hope you forgive me my lady. I was just so entranced with your beauty that all sense of common sense had left me before I can have the chance of using those properly. Letting out a disarming smile, he listened closely as she told them her purpose for going out so late this evening.

With the current tone of her voice and her worried demeanor from before, Clavis can quietly agree with what the knight had spoken off. Though he had an inkling and an idea about the girl's predicament--since it was quite clear from the way she acts, still he decided to momentarily turn his self blind with regards to this issue. It was not any of his care to add himself into her concerns. Yes, there is that feeling the faint stirrings of curiosity in his mind, but that was the end of that. Instead, he just continued to watch nonspeaking as the knight introduce his name towards Angel.

Crane then had surprisingly volunteered into helping the girl persuade her perpetrators to leave. It had almost took all of his control to stop himself from laughing at the turn of events. It seemed that the bard is not the only one who had been enticed with the presence of these mysterious persons. Even the knight who appeared to be uptight and bound by the normal rules of the society is obviously taken with these ladies.

Thankfully he was able to control his amusement and had finally settled on waiting for the red-haired girl's response.

Not more than awhile later on, he decided to make things more interesting(for him) and piped up next to the knight: "I am Clavis, my lady, my sire". He bowed customarily again to each of them and added," I am a simple travelling bard but I can assure you that I will be able to help you anyway I can. I only have a question however, where is Mademoiselle Knell and Echo? Are you not with them?" He slightly studied the almost empty surrounding as he waited for the response.

It was obviously so late at night but it wouldn’t hurt to give a helping hand to those who may or may not need it. It is certain that Angel is an enigma in her own, with that unnatural beauty and unbidden spunk, but still she was not the main purpose why the violet-haired musician decided to postpone his nightly activities. He did this in favor of being near the interesting group. He recalled the teal-haired girl stating that they had a hired a help for their safety and security. He would have liked to offer his services but instead decided to act upon it. Such a shame for a loss of opportunity though.

And now, even if he’s not certain Angel is their friend, it would not hurt to associate himself with the girl. Sooner or later, at the morrow, he will meet them again, that is for certain. For now, he would take the chance to unravel this enigmatic personality and also take some time learning something about a certain uptight knight as he could.

He will try to be not as loud and attention-seeking as he usually is however. It would not do him any good if he is noticed by the higher ups. Those who belong to the rulers of this land. If what Angel said is true, then he must take absolute caution more than he necessarily needs. He is quite happy with this freedom that he has. And while he is, as if, is someone who is lacking a main direction, still he is happy. At least in this new way of living that he had, he have his own free will to follow. He wouldn't dare want it any other way.

Still grinning happily, he then decided to offer the room that he recently acquired. “I actually have a room rented out for two days stay, my lady.” He started speaking in an merry and encouraging tone, something that does not belong with the serenity of the night. “I’m afraid I have no other use for it except something to leave my pack... if you’re looking for a place to stay."

He gestured to Margaret's inn and then added, "I am happy to give it to you. I won't charge you a single dime for it!”

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Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
Crane shifted his attention back down to the bard next to him. Though one couldn't see his face, something about his body language made it seem as though he was giving the Purple haired teen an accusing stare. "I trust you're not using your offer as a way of 'taking advantage' of her situation." The knight said, his voice breaking it's monotone for a brief moment of suspicion. Crane knew he had little reason to mistrust the bard and his intents, and was sure that Angelique could defend herself, but he was well versed in stories of maidens being taken in by strangers.